I love this blog post by actress & neuroscientist (hey, you don't see that often) and most importantly, Mom, Mayim Byalik.
For those reading, it is probably no surprise that I am in agreement with her way of parenting, but what she says about labels resonates so clearly with me.
"I don’t need to use labels to tell you who I am and how I choose to raise my kids. I do not judge anyone, because that’s not what my job on this earth is. My job is to do my best for my kids: to be the best mama I can be to them."
My husband and I parent from our hearts (I know that sounds hokey, but I hardly know any other way to describe it). We do what works for US... Us being Grant, myself and most importantly Avalon. We don't do anything just because we 'think it is right'... we parent to what is natural and instinctive in us, and most importantly, take our cues from our daughter. We have faced negative reactions for some of our practises and praise for others. All you can do is what feels right for your FAMILY.
We feel we are in tune with Avalon's needs, and without turning this into another lovefest, I am so grateful and blessed to have a PARTNER in my husband... someone who has the same ideas and philosophies as I in raising our gorgeous girl. The fact he is the one who makes our family bed big enough for 3 of us, and never 'insisting' she be 'in her own room' makes me love him that little bit more. I know some fathers who put their own needs before their child's; and I am by no means saying that, for example, Co-sleeping is the ONLY sleeping arrangement that works, but I am glad that we are a team, and I don't have to fight him on this, as I have heard others do. This is a full-time situation for us; not part-time.
But I digress...
I have often given myself the label 'Attachment Parent' and only on enquiring have I explained what I mean by that. To me it is common sense parenting, doing what is instinctual and natural for your family, so really, that deserves nor needs any label. I guess on some level it just made it easier for me to explain to others that do not see co-sleeping, homebirthing, full-term breastfeeding as the norm, WHY we do what we do.
So, I will aim to not label myself any further.
Just be HONEST with yourself, don't beat yourself up if you don't do something the same as others, and don't judge them for what they do... we are all different and their is more than one way to do anything... I am learning from Avalon everyday.
On a side note... I am watching right now as Grant is 'walking' with Avalon around our living room, holding her hands as she slowly puts one foot in front of the other.... What love is....